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Drywall Installers and Tapers


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a drywall finisher applying drywall compound on a ceiling Drywall and ceiling tile installers, tapers, and plasterers are specialty construction workers who work on both residential and commercial structures.  They are responsible for building, applying, and fastening interior or exterior wallboards or wall coverings for the purposes of fireproofing, sound dampening, and adding decorative elements.  Drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers generally work indoors, while plasterers may work on interior or exterior jobs.

Construction workers who work primarily with drywall are known as installers and tapers.  Installers, also called framers and hangers, are responsible for fastening drywall panels to the framework of a house or building.  Tapers, also called finishers, are responsible for preparing the drywall for painting by filling in the joints with a compound known as spackle, or "mud," and using paper tape to reinforce it.

Ceiling tile installers help build walls and ceilings, and are sometimes called acoustical carpenters.  They apply acoustical tiles, blocks, strips, or sheets of shock-absorbing material to ceilings and walls to help dampen noise and add a decorative touch.

Plasterers are responsible for applying plaster to interior walls and ceilings.  They also install exterior insulation systems over existing walls and and cast ornamental designs in plaster.  Plasterers work with solid surfaces or supportive wire called lathe.

Specialty construction work is physically demanding, and requires much standing, bending, stretching, kneeling, and heavy lifting.  Workers may need to use protective masks, goggles, and gloves to avoid irritation from dust and debris.  Drywall and ceiling tile installers, tapers, and plasterers usually work indoors.  Knowledge of basic math, mechanical drawing, and blueprint reading are necessary, as are good physical condition, eye-hand coordination, and manual dexterity.

Many workers learn their skills on the job or through an apprenticeship program, which can take three to four years.  All occupations have a chance of advancing to supervisor or general construction supervisor positions, especially if they are able to communicate in both English and Spanish.  They may also choose to become independent contractors or building inspectors.

Employment for drywall and ceiling tile installers, tapers, and plasterers is expected to grow as fast as the national average, and opportunities will be best for the experienced worker.  Visit Associated Builders and Contractors for information about job qualifications and training programs for drywall and ceiling tile installers.

Drywall Contractors in each State and Washington, DC

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About Drywall Installers and Tapers